Monster Energy has agreed to a two-year partnership deal with Yamaha Factory Racing, which will see the Monster brand act as sponsor to Yamaha's MotoGP team. The announcement had been widely anticipated, and reported on here prior to Christmas, and extends Monster's participation in MotoGP, where they go head-to-head with the other energy drink giant, Red Bull.
Though the deal between Yamaha and Monster will provide a useful influx of cash for the Japanese factory team (Spanish website Motocuatro.com put the total sponsorship deal at 4 million euros) Monster will not become title sponsor. Instead, the Monster logos will receive the same kind of prominence as Japanese oil sponsor ENEOS, appearing on the fairings of both bikes, as well as on the leathers of both Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi.
The addition of Monster created a problem for Yamaha's management. Jorge Lorenzo had just extended his personal sponsorship deal with rival energy drink Rockstar for two years, a contract reportedly worth a million euros a year to the 2012 World Champion. Yamaha were forced to exercise a clause to buy out Lorenzo's Rockstar sponsorship from the Spaniard. Monster upped their offer to Yamaha to cover both the cost of sponsoring both riders, and to cover the cost of Lorenzo's lost Rockstar deal.
The Monster deal leaves two previous deals unaffected, however. The deal with the factory squad leaves the agreement Monster has with Yamaha's satellite team Tech 3 untouched. That team, consisting of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, will continue to sport Monster title sponsorship, and be known as the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 racing team. The Valentino Rossi's personal sponsorship deal with Monster is also unaffected, something which the Yamaha press release is at pains to make clear, possibly to counter earlier reports that Rossi had been asked to bring a sponsor to pay for his return to the Japanese factory. Though the deals are separate, this is in effect what has happened, with the 4 million Yamaha is receiving from Monster reportedly equivalent to the amount Yamaha are paying Rossi to ride for them.
Though Yamaha remains without a title sponsor, the amount generated by the ENEOS and Monster deals (around 8 million euros in total) is already more than the deal the factory had with Fiat when the Italian car maker was title sponsor to the team. A title sponsor would surely be welcome, but this deal makes Yamaha's future in MotoGP a little more secure.
Below is the official press release announcing the partnership with Monster:
Yamaha Factory Racing Looks to the Future with Monster Energy Partnership
Gerno di Lesmo (Milan, Italy), 8th January 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing is delighted to announce a Sponsorship and Partnership agreement with the Monster Energy Company (MEC) for 2013 and 2014. As a result of this agreement Monster Energy branding will be visible on the Yamaha YZR-M1s and racing leathers of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as well as on all team clothing and all team equipment.
Reigning MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo has a personal engagement with Monster Energy and Yamaha included in the agreement. Valentino Rossi’s personal agreement with Monster Energy will be complementary to the agreement between Yamaha Factory Racing and MEC.
The agreement between the satellite Monster Energy Yamaha Tech3 team and Monster Energy will remain unchanged and is unaffected by the Yamaha – MEC agreement.
Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing
“We are very happy to be able to announce the start of a new chapter in the Yamaha – Monster Energy partnership. Monster Energy is already a major partner to Yamaha’s top global sports activities in many domestic and international racing activities around the world in Motocross, Supercross, Endurance and Superbike disciplines. They have also been the title sponsor of the Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha team for the past 4 years. The expansion to include the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team is a logical and prestigious expansion of the program.
This completion of the program permits Yamaha and Monster Energy to work even closer together to develop their sports marketing programs and to develop rider talent to continue to be successful into the future in all areas of motorcycle racing.
For the Yamaha Factory Racing Team this new partnership will bring even more ‘energy’ into our racing program and Monster Energy will be a great supporter to further promote our Team and our riders' performances around the world.”